This sweet and simple offering is ideal for sharing one-on-one or for featuring with a small audience in a program...

EMMA

From the Simply Small series

This volume in the Simply Small board-book series introduces Emma, a little hedgehog with a heart of gold.

Emma and her three sisters exhaust themselves trudging along after Daddy up a steep hill. Inspired by the sweet scent in the air, Emma picks flowers and hands one to each of her three wilting sisters. They each give her a kiss in return, as does her proud father, and that makes: “Three flowers, / four kisses, and / five hedgehogs / —happy at home.” This final spread shows the five critters resting all cuddled together in a contented clump, with Emma’s sisters still holding onto their precious flowers. The simple, uncluttered illustrations complement the sparse but apt text. The only things pictured are the hedgehogs, the hill and the flowers, all of which are drawn with very thick, bold outlines. The sky is rendered a soft pink, the hill a light green and the hedgehogs shades of tan, with the blue, white and yellow flowers adding a bit of variety to the palette.

This sweet and simple offering is ideal for sharing one-on-one or for featuring with a small audience in a program celebrating family or, even better, small acts of kindness and love. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-897476-93-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Simply Read

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

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Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday.

THE ABCS OF LOVE

Animal parents declare their love for their offspring in alphabetical order.

Each page displays an enormous capital letter, one line of verse with the keyword capitalized, and a loving nonhuman parent gazing adoringly at their baby. “A is for Always. I always love you more. / B is for Butterfly kisses. It’s you that I adore.” While not named or labelled as such, the A is also for an alligator and its hatchling and B is for a butterfly and a butterfly child (not a caterpillar—biology is not the aim of this title) interacting in some way with the said letter. For E there are an elephant and a calf; U features a unicorn and foal; and X, keyed to the last letter of the animal’s name, corresponds to a fox and three pups. The final double-page spread shows all the featured creatures and their babies as the last line declares: “Baby, I love you from A to Z!” The verse is standard fare and appropriately sentimental. The art is cartoony-cute and populated by suitably loving critters on solid backgrounds. Hearts accent each scene, but the theme of the project is never in any doubt.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but the syrupy sweetness will cloy after the holiday. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-2095-6

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here.

PEEKABOO REX!

From the Boynton on Board series

The favorite game of toddlers gets a dino twist.

A large dinosaur tries to outsmart a smaller companion when the duo play peekaboo together. The big dino naïvely believes they won’t be noticed behind or under sundry hiding places, but the little pal always finds their playmate. Young listeners will giggle as the large dino attempts to outwit the little one, but in vain; in every instance, the diminutive, overalls-clad dino calls out a triumphant “Peekaboo!” How come? Is it because thin tree trunks and a potted plant can’t conceal the large dino’s frame? Do the big dino’s bold, flower-print shirts stick out a mile? Even when the large dinosaur attempts an aerial hiding place, they discover that ruse doesn’t, ahem, fly, nor does hiding in a crowd wearing a Where’s Waldo?–esque red-striped cap and T-shirt do any good. In a display of good sportsmanship, the big dino concedes at the end the game was fun. The youngest audiences, all of whom will have likely engaged in marathon peekaboo sessions themselves, will undoubtedly scramble to play again. Besides stimulating playtime, this adorable board book, expressed in lilting rhymes, boosts vocabulary development through the use of some common prepositions (behind, in) and adverbs (here, there, everywhere). The illustrations are sweetly engaging; the round cutout on the front cover invites youngsters to play peekaboo games with adult partners and others. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Peek, and you’ll find a rollicking romp here. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-66592-840-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Boynton Bookworks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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